For years I coached a small group of six- to eight-year-old boys in competitive gymnastics. I’m convinced that this demographic’s energy level is inversely proportional to their attention level, and that the proportion most often sits somewhere around 432/1. Don’t check my stats.
Two years ago, one particular group of boys simply would not listen for more than ten minutes a day. They had their own agenda, and the reward/punishment systems that usually worked were fizzling out faster than ever. Nothing seemed to pacify them. Moreover, their gymnastic progress was stunted by my lack of control. After months of finishing practice with a hoarse throat and a bruised ego, it seemed my hairline was receding so I decided it was time for a change.
I began reading Charles Duhigg’s, The Power of Habit—a book on the manipulation of individual and organizational habits—and found a possible solution. In the book, Duhigg suggests the habits formed by individuals are resultant of specific, and external cues or stimuli.
Habits are individual. They are generated from within the mind of the effector. It is difficult to have two people form and keep the same objective habit. That’s why enculturation of any principle on a macro level is so difficult within the context of a group, business or organization. Some members of the group may find it easy to adopt the practice desired of them, because it happens to fit well with their current ritual. Other members however, or even entire departments may find themselves working much harder to change. While habit change is individual, personal, and internal—and thus hard to control—the stimulus is external, generalizable, and malleable, making it possible for institutionalized habit formation.
The stimulus is critical. It is the catalyst to enculturation. Habits are developed through consistent implementation of the stimulus. When positive habits shape company or organizational culture in a particular area, the business or group succeeds in that area.
The Cue & Reward
One especially rowdy day, I had the boys form a line, in order from shortest to tallest with their hands behind their backs like soldiers in order to explain something—a practice usually reserved only for the first five minutes of practice, and competitions. I noticed that ten minutes of obedience followed the line-up before one tried putting another in a chokehold. I lined them up again the next day, but twice—20 minutes of obedience resulted. I started splitting them up into two lines, and rewarding points for free trampoline time to the line that looked most like soldiers. Soon, we walked everywhere in a soldier line, and individual boys became self-motivated, self-improving, and aware of their own progression and strengths. Discipline became the culture of the team, and that year we won the Utah State Championship.
Finding your Cue
As a customer experience company with a pedigreed market research history, MaritzCX believes when numbers tell us that CX enculturation is a driver to better business results. Greater retention rates, increasing YOY revenue, and better NPS scores are all linked to high CX Maturity built on successful CX programs. A successful CX program requires the discipline of the whole team—many employees and complex processes. In The Power of Habit, Duhigg says, “The problem is that there isn’t one formula for changing habits. There are thousands.” Each organization is different, with its own objectives, and nuances. That’s why MaritzCX has developed three levels of assessment with which to determine your organization’s CX Maturity level. Then, custom diagnostic and prescriptive reports across six dimensions and 14 key competencies can help your organization pinpoint and focus on the correct stimuli for progress—to develop the institutional habit and reach enculturation.
Take our free assessment and determine your next step toward CX enculturation.